Marine protected areas
One of the most important, yet underutilized, conservation tools in the marine environment is the use of marine protected areas (MPAs), which serve to protect all components of the ecosystem and can be used not only to help ecosystems recover, but also to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. Cuba’s Decree Law 201 establishes a system of national protected areas in eight categories of protected status. Cuba has already announced an ambitious program to designate 25 percent of its waters as protected areas. Experience elsewhere in design, management, enforcement and research will help Cuba establish its own network of protected areas. At the same time, the scientific community at large can benefit by assessing Cuba’s approach to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and western Caribbean, discussion of tri- or multi-national coordination in establishing and managing protected area networks would benefit the entire region.
2015 marine protected areas working group
Participants and summary to come soon.